GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Contexts of American Poetry After 1925

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 158 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept

Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following poets was a leading figure in the American countercultural movement of the 1950s?

Possible Answers:

Langston Hughes

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

ee cummings

Charles Bukowski

Correct answer:

Allen Ginsberg

Explanation:

The poet in question is Allen Ginsberg, a leader of the Beats. His most famous work, “Howl,” is an epic poem about minority identities, war, consumerism, sex, and repressive society.

Example Question #2 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following poets was the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize?

Possible Answers:

Richard Wright

Amiri Baraka

Gwendolyn Brooks

Maya Angelou

Langston Hughes

Correct answer:

Gwendolyn Brooks

Explanation:

This is Gwendolyn Brooks, author of works such as We Real Cool, Street in Bronzeville, Primer for Blacks, and “Speech to the Young.” Her writing portrays life in inner-city Chicago and encompasses various styles and sensibilities, including jazz influences as well as more formalist verses. She won the Pulitzer in 1950 for her collection titled Annie Allen and was inaugurated as the Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968.

Example Question #3 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following poets was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

Amiri Baraka

Langston Hughes

Maya Angelou

Rita Dove

Richard Wright

Correct answer:

Langston Hughes

Explanation:

This is Langston Hughes, author of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Montage of a Dream Deferred.” Hughes gained acclaim as a poet as well as a social justice advocate, and he was known for writing novels and plays as well as poetry. He helped inaugurate the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s, which brought black and urban perspectives to the forefront of music, art, theater, and writing.

Example Question #4 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following poets was not an Imagist?

Possible Answers:

Ezra Pound

Conrad Aiken

Carl Sandburg

Amy Lowell

William Carlos Williams

Correct answer:

Conrad Aiken

Explanation:

The Imagists were known for their emphasis on precision and clarity of diction and images. This movement is linked with the rise of Modernism and includes such founders as Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, and Carl Sandburg. The British poet Conrad Aiken, on the other hand, was vocally opposed to various aspects of Imagism.

Example Question #5 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following American poets is not known for work that decried the Vietnam War?

Possible Answers:

Grace Paley

Robert Bly

Hart Crane

Allen Ginsberg

Yusef Komunyakaa

Correct answer:

Hart Crane

Explanation:

Of these writers, only Hart Crane was not alive during the Vietnam War. He died in 1932, and the other poets on the list all protested the war in various ways. Some did so through membership in the American Writers Against the Vietnam War (of which Bly was a founder).

Example Question #6 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

The author of the poems “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus” (taken from her collection Ariel) was married to which British poet?

Possible Answers:

Ted Hughes

W. B. Yeats

Ezra Pound

T. S. Eliot

W. H. Auden

Correct answer:

Ted Hughes

Explanation:

The author of the poems in question is Sylvia Plath. She was married to British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes from 1956 until 1963, when she committed suicide. Her work is known for its preoccupation with mental illness and the mundane details of daily life.

Example Question #7 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following twentieth-century American poets did not frequently embrace untraditional forms or linguistic devices?

Possible Answers:

Hart Crane

e e cummings

Gertrude Stein

William Carlos Williams

John Ashbery

Correct answer:

Hart Crane

Explanation:

By process of elimination, we can rule out all the poets with experimental aspects to their work. William Carlos Williams embraced innovated forms, e e cummings eschewed traditional orthography, Gertrude Stein focused on sonic pattern to the near-exclusion of semantic meaningfulness, and John Ashbery employed avant-garde forms and syntax. This leaves Hart Crane, who embraced some aspects of Modernist poetry but typically followed the older tradition of lyric verse in his work.

Example Question #8 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which African-American poet read work at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration?

Possible Answers:

Zora Neale Hurston

Maya Angelou

Gwendolyn Brooks

Amiri Baraka

Rita Dove

Correct answer:

Maya Angelou

Explanation:

This is Maya Angelou, the famous author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She read “On the Pulse of Morning” at Clinton’s 1993 inauguration ceremony.

Example Question #9 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following twentieth-century poets has not been a United States Poet Laureate?

Possible Answers:

Natasha Trethewey

Rita Dove

Charles Bukowski

Joseph Brodsky

Philip Levine

Correct answer:

Charles Bukowski

Explanation:

The only poet on this list who has not been the national Poet Laureate is Bukowski. Levine was Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2012, Trethewey was Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, Dove was Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995, and Brodsky was Poet Laureate from 1991 to 1992.

Example Question #10 : Contexts Of American Poetry After 1925

Which of the following poets could not be described as a nature poet?

Possible Answers:

Louise Glück

Allen Ginsberg

Robert Frost

Gary Snyder

Robert Hass

Correct answer:

Allen Ginsberg

Explanation:

Of these five, only Ginsberg does not write work that is routinely and overtly concerned with the natural world, environment, and ecology.

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